HSE Scholars Take Part in Second World Congress on Logic and Religion in Warsaw

The 2nd World Congress on Logic and Religion was held from June 18 to 22 in Warsaw. Researchers from HSE’s Moscow and Perm campuses took part in the event.

The 2nd World Congress on Logic and Religion took place from June 18 to 22 in Warsaw, bringing together many experts in various fields from all over the globe, including logicians, mathematicians, philosophers, religion researchers, theologians and orientalists. The concept of the event was to cover a wide range of problems related to the ambiguous relationship between logic and religion, from attempts to explain certain theological ideas rationally, to mutual accusations of lack of proof and/or spirituality, as well as mutual influences and conceptual overlaps.

It was no coincidence that this congress was organized in Poland, a homeland of logic (the Lvov-Warsaw School of Logic has produced dozens of outstanding thinkers) and religion (remarkably, John Paul II, a Pole, was the first non-Italian pope to be elected in the last 455 years). The first congress, which took place in Brazil in 2015, was a success and set a high standard, but the Warsaw event’s organizers (Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw, Poland) successfully picked up the torch. They suggested the following issues for discussion:

  • Impact of religious beliefs on logical structures;
  • Logic in the service of apologetics;
  • Rationalization of religious beliefs;
  • Justification in religious legal traditions (e.g., Talmudic Logic);
  • Logic vis-a-vis illogicalities in religion;
  • Non-classical logics and religion;
  • Models of argumentation in religious discourse.

The congress attracted over 140 experts from various countries, including nine Russian researchers. The list of plenary speakers included such globally renowned scholars as Saul Kripke, Dov M. Gabbay, Jan Woleński, Michał Heller and Laurent Lafforgue.

HSE is proud to say that it was represented by its two campuses - Moscow and Perm.

Basil Lourié, a member of the Congress Academic Council and Leading Research Fellow at the HSE Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Empirical Studies (Perm), presented a lecture - ‘What Does the “Tri-” Mean in “Trinity”? An Analysis of the Eastern Patristic Approach’. In this study, he relied on the concept of ‘paraconsistent numbers’, which is conceptually related to Yury Manin’s non-classical set-theoretical studies (1976) for subatomic particles, which can defy the law of identity.

Dmitry Biriukov, Leading Research Fellow at the HSE Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Empirical Studies (Perm), presented his paper ‘Gregory of Nyssa’s Teaching of United Man and its Logical Context’, which considers Gregory of Nyssa’s unusual semantics in regards to the word ‘man’ in the context of early patristic theological debates.

Aleksey Kamenskikh, Leading Research Fellow at the HSE Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Empirical Studies (Perm), spoke on ‘(Theo)logical Structures of Time: the Late Neoplatonists and Leo P. Karsavin’, unveiling certain surprising parallels in the Late Neoplatonists’ and Leo P. Karsavin’s concepts of time and eternity.

Yulia Gorbatova*, Associate Professor at the HSE Faculty of Humanities (Moscow), in her paper ‘God as Necessary Being and Multilevel Ontologies for Possible World Semantics’, spoke on the semantics of the so-called ‘God-sentences’ and the necessity to explain the various senses of ‘existence’ for entities at different levels in the semantics of possible worlds.

Victor Gorbatov*, Senior Lecturer at the HSE Faculty of Humanities (Moscow), spoke on ‘Actuality and Necessity in Anselm’s Argument: a Two-Dimensional Approach’. He suggested a solution to the modal ontological argument dilemma set by David Lewis (according to Lewis, it is either invalid or question-begging) in 2-D semantics, proposing a new version of ontological argument in S5FA logics language.

Congress Book of Abstracts (pdf)

The organizers have announced that the next Congress on Logic and Religion will take place in 2018 in Varanasi, India.

*Supported by the HSE Faculty of Humanities Academic Fund